Danielle Cogswellâ€™s Overdose may be Triggering the Inclusion of Having Cheerleaders Drug Tested
It has been confirmed that on July 28th, 2014, University of Louisville cheerleader, Danielle Cogswell passed away due to an overdose on a cocktail of heroin, amphetamines and Xanax. She was only 22 years old. As a result, the University is now having their cheerleaders drug tested in accordance with NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) rules of detecting the banned drugs. Up to this point, cheerleaders have been excluded from the drug testing because cheerleading is not listed as an NCAA-related sport.
Before graduating high school, Danielle Cogswell was on the team in Sammamish, which won the Washington State championship in 2009. She had transferred from the University of Arizona to be on the University of Louisvilleâ€™s cheerleading squad. She was described by the sports information director Kenny Klein as an â€œelite athleteâ€.
Cogswellâ€™s case is proof that all schools should have their cheerleaders drug tested and to undergo the drug information education program along with all of the other athletes. Due to Cogswellâ€™s passing in late July 2014, it will start with the U and L cheerleaders. Cogswellâ€™s story is also yet another example of how even the best of us can fall into the trap of drug or alcohol abuse. Drug and alcohol abuse affects people literally from all walks of life and all levels of intelligence.
Also, even though some donâ€™t think of it as such, cheerleading is just as much of a sport as basketball or football is. Cheerleaders may often be stereotyped as the â€œhappy-go-luckyâ€ types but at the end of the day, theyâ€™re just as human and just as vulnerable as everyone else. Even though they mostly work on the sidelines and do a dance or two before the game and during half-time, that does not mean that they are under pressure to perform well any less than other athletes. That same pressure could trigger them to turn to drugs and alcohol for performance enhancement and also to escape the pressures. Cheerleaders are also expected to attend certain parties with the basketball or football athletes and there are also always some opportunities for drug and alcohol abuse there as well.